New school approved for children with SEN

Release Date: 12 March 2019

A new free school for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities has been approved for the borough.

Yesterday, Monday 11 March 2019, the Department for Education approved Richmond Council’s bid, made by children’s services provider Achieving for Children, for the new free school.

The school will provide 90 places for children and young people aged 7 to 19 who have social, emotional and mental health needs, and is proposed, subject to planning permission, to be established as part of South West London St George’s Mental Health Trust’s redevelopment of the Barnes Hospital site, on South Worple Way.

Achieving for Children will hold a competition this spring to secure a high-quality education provider to run the school, with a view to the successful bidder being announced later this year.

The Department for Education will provide the capital required to build the school and it is hoped that the school will be ready to open in September 2022.

Cllr Penny Frost, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, said:

“This is fantastic news for the borough, but particularly for the children and young people whom the school will educate, as it means that they will be able to remain in education within their home community.

“Sometimes, parents and carers have had little choice but to opt for schools outside the local area, often considerably far away. This new school will fill a significant gap in our local offer.

“The establishment of the school will also enable the Council to make substantial savings compared with the costs of out-borough education providers.”

“We will now look to secure the best possible education provider to open and manage the school and play a full part in our local family of schools.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P075/19

Updated: 28 March 2019